At a news conference in Mauritius, the BUAV has announced a major development in its campaign to raise awareness of the trade in monkeys on Mauritius for the international research industry. The organization has received the support of many of the country’s leading religious and socio-cultural groups and a statement of concern, signed by twenty-two religious and socio-cultural groups and individuals, has been released. The BUAV is now calling upon other groups and leading citizens to add their voice and raise concerns about the trade.
Mauritius is the world’s second largest supplier of primates to the research industry; each year thousands of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) are exported around the world to be used in experiments. In 2010, the most recent year data is available, over 7,500 monkeys, including those trapped in the wild, were exported to laboratories in the UK, the USA, France, Spain, Mexico and Singapore. A major investigation carried out by the BUAV in 2010 obtained shocking evidence of the cruelty and suffering involved in the trapping and breeding of the wild monkeys.
In February 2012, a BUAV campaign, Save our Monkeys, was launched in Mauritius to raise awareness and unify support. This island campaign has enabled the people of Mauritius to express concern about what is happening to their monkey population.
The BUAV Chief Executive, Michelle Thew, states: “This important statement of support, signed by key religious and socio-cultural groups and individuals, represents a growing awareness and concern on Mauritius about the suffering inflicted on the monkey population. This cruel trade has continued unchallenged for too long. Now is the time for the people of Mauritius to make their opposition heard and we hope this statement will encourage them to do this”.